Pokemon Update: Is Pokemon GO Revolutionary?

Pokemon GO is an all-encompassing, accessible and social way to connect with people. And it looks like it’s going to keep going in that direction.

A few weeks ago, Pokemon GO shook the nation (and the world) with augmented reality, physical activity, and virtual monsters.  We covered the very beginnings of this phenomenon.  But as time goes on, we’re seeing a steadily rising popularity that needs to be recognized more than once.  This app is becoming more than a social media boom–some are saying the game is bordering on becoming revolutionary.  It’s a whole new way to market, socialize and travel.  Let’s talk about the raw power of social media, and how Pokemon GO is our first look into this amazing way of utilizing technology.


How Businesses Are Using Pokemon to Their Advantage


Go on the Pokemon GO subreddit for more than five minutes, and you’ll see clever marketing techniques already being implemented by businesses.  Local Starbucks shops are placing out tip jars for each of the color coordinated teams, to promote friendly competition.  These teams–Valor (red), Mystic (blue) and Instinct (yellow)–are pitted against one another inside the game.  Each person is required to make a choice between the three.  


Team pride has become a vital part of the game.  Some businesses are giving discounts to Team Valor, and some are simply placing the logo of the team in their window to show where they stand.  The inclusion of Pokemon in our everyday lives is on a level we’ve never seen before; it’s a game, after all.  Not social media.  But, social media is what is being impacted.


Why Does it Work So Well?


The game isn’t just for kids, like the franchise has been for the past twenty years.  Parents are seeing their kids wandering around the neighborhood for hours at a time.  They wonder what the fuss is about, and download the app.  And then they, too, get addicted.  Frankly, it’s incredibly accessible for any age and any social circle.  It doesn’t require any sort of gaming system.  Pokemon GO simply uses smartphones, which is something everyone already has.  


Sure, we’ve seen games get popular before.  Angry Birds is getting a movie.  But Angry Birds never encouraged this level of social interaction, and Angry Birds never encouraged kids to get outside with their parents to discover new places.  Parents are saying, “Sure, we can go to the park together because I want that Snorlax as much as my eight-year-old does.”  That is what makes Pokemon GO revolutionary.  It’s an all-encompassing, accessible and social way to connect with people.  And it looks like it’s going to keep going in that direction.


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